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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Language of the Stones-Artist Residency Ireland

After spending time in the sacred sites of Loughcrew, and  Newgrange, I have been wondering about the meaning of the carvings on the stones.  Were they a language of some sort, telling about the purpose of the cairns, did they track the entrance of the sun into the chambers, were they simply a kind of decoration?  
When I came into my cottage here at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, I found some words scratched onto a heart-shaped slate that a previous tenant had left behind.  Lovely that the word is Brave.  The word 'courage' comes from coeur, French for heart.  Be Brave.  What a wonderful motto to begin my residency here.  And now I'm in the final few days of the residency and so I'm looking at my work and hoping that I have been brave.

In response to the Be Brave carving, I found a Yeats quote about courage.  I did a small installation piece down by the lake, carving the quote onto some small slates that I found by the boathouse.  It reads:"Why should we honour thos…

Artist Residency Ireland-Newgrange and Lough Crew

Before I came to the artist residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, I stayed with my friend Mary in Dublin whose passion is visiting the sacred sites across this country.  She took Rebecca Crowell and me out to Loughcrew, Slieve na Calliagh, the hill of the witch or hag's mountain.  ReadRebecca's blog posts of this residency too.
The remains at Loughcrew are passage tombs, a particular style of neolithic architecture.  They have a passage, ordinarily long and narrow, which opens into a domed chamber.  We first went to Carnbane East.  It was a long, rainy and wildly windy walk to the top of the hill to Cairn T (sometimes called the Hag's Cairn).  We had collected the key for the passage tomb at the Loughcrew Historic Gardens Coffee Shop.  Imagine that we were able to go into this cairn and sit inside, in the dark, beside these incredible stones! Cairn T is oriented to the autumn equinox, which happens within the next three days.  At the autumn equinox, the rising sun shine…

Artist Residency Ireland

For the month of September I'm doing an artist residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, Ireland.  The 450 acres and buildings are stunningly beautiful. Tyrone Guthrie (1900-1971) was an acclaimed English theatre director who also wrote plays for radio, including one series that he wrote in Montreal on Canadian history for the Canadian National Railways Radio, which eventually became the CBC. In 1953, he was invited to help launch theStratford Festival of Canada. Intrigued with the idea of starting a Shakespeare theatre in a remote Canadian location, he enlisted actors Alec Guinness and Irene Worth to star in the inaugural production of Richard III. All performances in the first seasons took place in a large tent on the banks of the Avon River. He remained as Artistic Director for three seasons, and his work at Stratford had a strong influence in the development of Canadian theatre.

I'm staying in one of the self-catering cottages, pictured above.
The sitting …